The Carnival City Casino 400, round eight of the SA Off Road Car Racing Championship presented by Absa, finally delivered the result that few expected would be possible in the light of Nissan's total dominance of the championship over the past two...
The Carnival City Casino 400, round eight of the SA Off Road Car Racing Championship presented by Absa, finally delivered the result that few expected would be possible in the light of Nissan's total dominance of the championship over the past two seasons.
Gary Bertholdt and Brandon Harcus (Adrenalise Corporate Entertainment BAT) romped to the first overall win by a Special Vehicle in two years and in the process picked up the Class A Drivers and Co-drivers Championship while Neil Woolridge and Kenny Skjoldhammer (Team Ford Racing Ranger) won the Production Vehicle category overall.
The Ford pair last won the 2001 Carnival City Casino 400 and have of late been nipping at the heels of the seemingly invincible Proudly South African Nissan Hardbody pick-ups that won 14 of the past 15 events.
The Proudly South African Nissan's were the early race leaders but first Duncan Vos and Mike Griffith retired after damaging the cooling system following a collision with teammates Hannes Grobler and Richard Leeke who later retired when the bolts on the steering rack sheared.
Apie Reyneke and Robin Houghton's charge in the Castrol Toyota Land Cruiser was halted when they damaged the rear differential on lap one, which necessitated a lengthy pit stop. They made considerable head way only to have the problem re-occur on the final lap and had to settle for third overall in the Production Vehicle category and second in Class T.
For BAT Racing it was a dream come true for entrepreneur Brandon Harcus who had the vision to design and build a world beating space frame vehicle when Toyota Dealer 400 runner-up Clint Gibson and co-driver Mike Brown (Praesidium Financial Services BAT) and Toyota Dealer 400 winner Mark Corbett and Juan Mohr (Century Property Developments BAT) finished second and third respectively in the Special Vehicle category.
Class E champions Mark Cronje and Chris Birkin (Castrol Toyota Hilux 2700i) were second overall in the Production Vehicle category and were chased across the finish line by John Moore in the Class A Shell Connix Chenowth.
Although reigning Class B champions Marcus Taylor and Marc de Chalain won Class B in the Rollerbak Racing JRE they had to relinquish their title to Giel Nel in the LUK Africa Truggy who finished 11th overall and picked up the Special Vehicle Drivers Championship and the Class B Drivers Championship.
Brothers Bertus and Paul Alberts finished ninth overall and first in Class S in the Wrapsa Raceco with Danie Marais and Andrew Utterson (Intelegence BAT) rounding out the top ten.
Coetzee Labuschagne and Johan Gerber won Class D in the GBS Nissan Hardbody and teammates Hein Grobler and Gerhard Prinsloo, who finished third in Class D, won the Class D Drivers and Co-drivers Championship.
Jaap Zeeman and Johannes Barwise were the last placed finishers and won Class F on the day and pocketed the Class F championship in their aging Ferobrake Ford Cortina bakkie.